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Ethnoherpetological notes regarding the paha frogs and conservation implication in Manaslu Conservation Area, Gorkha District, Nepal
- Shrestha, Biraj, Gurung, Min Bahadur
- Journal of ethnobiology and ethnomedicine 2019 v.15 no.1 pp. 23
- conservation areas, females, frogs, interviews, males, meat, medicine, mountains, nationalities and ethnic groups, prices, questionnaires, rocks, surveys, villages, wildlife, Nepal
- BACKGROUND: Paha hunting is a commonplace recreational activity in the mountainous regions of Nepal. The collection is primarily for food use and secondarily preferred as medicinal forms, and utilized by many ethnic groups: Magar, Rai, Gurung, Jirel, etc. in different parts of the country. In this study, we documented the ethnoherpetological relationship of the local community with paha frogs in Manaslu Conservation Area, Gorkha District, Nepal. We confirmed the use of three species of paha, namely Nanorana liebigii, known locally as Man paha, Ombrana sikimensis, and Amolops formosus by the local community and recorded information on paha hunting strategy, meat preparation and storage techniques, zootherapeutic benefits, quantities harvested, and population status perception. METHODS: We conducted our fieldwork in the period between April 2016 and March 2017 in major settlements of Sirdibas, Chumchet, Bihi, and Prok villages. We interviewed 50 people (39 males and 11 females) using a semi-structured questionnaire format and recorded open interviews with potential informants. Our survey focused mainly over Sirdibas village inhabited by Gurungs. RESULTS: People usually hunted paha in Spring (March to May) and Summer (June to August) season either by flashing torchlight at night time (45.7%) or flipping big rocks under the water (29.6%). Nanorana liebigii (50%) is highly preferred for its dual purpose of delicacy and medicine, while Ombrana sikimensis (33.33%) solely considered for food and Amolops formosus (16.67%) for medicine. Majority of the people (43.90%) collected 51–100 individuals of paha at one hunting season and sold locally in the price range between NPR 50–250 (USD 0.45–2.26). People opined paha numbers have diminished over the last decade (76%), suggested strict regulation of hunting (58.5%), and educational campaigns (29.2%) as measures of protection. CONCLUSION: Our results demonstrated the difference in ethnoherpetological relationship among the Gurung community in lower Sirdibas village and the Tibetan Lama community in Manaslu. Since frogs around the world are in rapid decline, it is imperative that recreational killings of paha need to be checked with regulatory mechanisms across Nepal. There is an urgent need to shelter paha frogs under wildlife protection regulation and prioritize for conservation.